Vostok to train for nuclear conflict: analysts 

Vostok to train for nuclear conflict: analysts 

Russia’s Vostok (East)-2018 exercise, from September 11–15 in Pacific Russia, will be the largest Russian military exercise since Zapad (West) in 1981. 

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said around 300,000 Russian soldiers, more than 1,000 aircraft, the Pacific and Northern fleets, all the airborne forces and 3,200 Mongolian and Chinese troops. 

According to official Kremlin mouthpiece Tass, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told the media: “The active phase of the exercise is due on September 11-17 at five general purpose proving grounds, four aerospace force and air defence grounds and in the Sea of Japan and the Bering and Okhotsk seas. 

“Preparations for them included comprehensive snap checks of the Central and Eastern military districts, the Northern Fleet, the Airborne Troops and long-range and military transport aircraft,” Shoigu recalled.

“By now the participating forces have been deployed at unfamiliar proving grounds and performing combat training tasks.

“Aircraft have been flying maximum range sorties with refuelling in flight and practising landings at tactical airfields. Naval ships have been performing combat manoeuvring and firing practices,” Shoigu said.

“Involved in the main scenario at the Tsugol proving ground, the Eastern Military District, will be a contingent of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army of up to 3,500 officers and men,” Shoigu said, according to Tass, adding that the exercise was expected to enhance the level of field, naval and air training of the personnel and practice operations in the east and along the Pacific coast.

Vostok is likely to test Russia’s capability for mobilising reservists and multiple assets at its disposal, along with the civilian administration.

It will contain sizeable nuclear exercises with both nuclear fleets participating, representing another example of Russia rehearsing for atomic operations.

Russia can minimise the need to alert Nato observers and circumvent existing treaties because of its easterly location.

Including China points to close collaboration with Beijing, as with Vostok-2010, along with the impending deliveries of Russia’s SU-35 fighter. 


Shoigu also said the ministry had begun collecting donations to build an Orthodox cathedral in Moscow that would be dedicated to the armed forces.

The cathedral is to be built in Patriot Park, a military theme park and exhibition centre, he told senior officers.

“This idea was approved by the public, state authorities, military administration and church authorities,” said Shoigu, according to the Moscow Times. 

An animation of the cathedral’s homepage depicts an olive tan structure with glass panels and six golden domes dedicated to the patron saint of each service.

At almost 2,000 square kilometres, the cathedral would overlook monuments to military-related patron saints.


Japan is uneasy about the vast exercise in eastern Russia. Picture credit: Kremlin 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.